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Increasing hassle of employing people

PLANS to extend maternity rights were condemned by business leaders last night who said that they could “cripple” hundreds of thousands of companies.
Tony Blair will announce today that millions of parents with school-age children could soon have the same right to part-time work as families with infants. The “right to request” flexible work would also be extended to 1.8 million women who look after sick or disabled relatives..... “The aim is to get [statutory maternity pay] right up to the full 12 months by the end of the next Parliament,” she added.

Ms Hewitt noted that the Government had already doubled the length of statutory maternity pay from 13 weeks in 1997 to 26 weeks, while maternity leave has been extended from six months to a year.

As GODFREY BLOOM said (and was deliberately misunderstood and hounded):

Who loses out from this? Certainly small businesses lose something when they can't recruit the best person for the job. But the biggest single victim of the legislation is any woman of childbearing age who wants a job with a small business. She faces untold behind-the-scenes discrimination because businesses simply cannot afford to employ her.


The rational response of any business to such oppression is to employ only old women and young men. In this way, the required balance of age and sex distribution can be reported to the diversity monitors without any of the women ever claiming maternity leave. But, to cope with paternity leave better make sure that all the young men are homosexuals, thereby getting even more brownie points from the Guardianistas. This would work until the Government invents grandmaternity leave, but I really should not be giving them ideas.

"Being a flexible employer" has always seemed to me to be the obvious thing for an employer to do. Assuming you have good employees, and wish to keep them working for you, rather than your competitors, it must be in your interest to offer them maximum flexibility consistent with operating your business. If you treat your employees decently, and try to accomodate their wishes, they're far more likely to stay working for you.

This kind of thing is mostly an issue with skilled employees, where it would take a considerable amount of time, money and effort to train a replacement. If the training required is "here's the till, wear this coat", then employees are basically a commodity. In that case, there's little incentive for an employer to try and keep a particular employee, as there will be 3 more identical people wanting his job.

The moral? If you can't differentiate yourself from other people, you'll get screwed one way or the other.

Yeah, but how long before the Homos get "sympathetic" maternity leave?

There's nothing wrong with offering part time work for people who need to take care of kids, or sick/disabled people. It seems to me to be a reasonable way of keeping skilled people in the workforce.

Paid maternity/paternity leave is always going to be a dificult one. In my idea of an ideal world there would be pre-school baby care centres where parents, if they so choose, could leave their kids in safety while they go back to full time/part time work.

Omykiss: that's a seperate issue. If you can get a full year's pay for sitting at home, then you will be inclined to do so.
If I were an employer I would look only to employ men and women over 40. I wonder if it would be against the law to get new employees to 'waive' their maternal/paternal rights, when they sign a contract to work for you?

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